#IWSG December 2017: A do-over or a fresh start?


Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

To say that I tried a lot of new things this year would be a huge understatement. This has been a monotonous year. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t very good either. The two good things to come out of the new things I tried have been the IWSG Book Club and my new blog friends over at A Small Gang of Authors.

If I was to do something differently, I think I would have said no more often and been more selfish. I’m all the time trying to help others, and I realize now that no one wants my help, and that’s okay. There are those who want to work with me and I’m happy to work with those people. I’m not going to stop being a decent person, but I’m not going to continue slaving away silently in the background while other people gang up on me and point the finger when things don’t go the way they want. I can only do what I can do, and pleasing people isn’t something I’ve ever been good at, so it’s time I stopped. If I do what I think is right and people are pleased with it, great; if not, oh well. I did my best.

In 2018, I’ll be more selfish and less involved, but I’ll never turn my back on anyone who’s truly in need.


No personal updates this time.

Happy Holidays everyone!


What would you have done differently in 2017?
Is there anything you’re letting go of or embracing in the new year?


After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Julie Flanders,
Shannon Lawrence,
Fundy Blue, and
Heather Gardner!


Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #58).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

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Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I’m a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I’m educated, but I haven’t let that stop me from being who I want to be. I’m a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

20 thoughts on “#IWSG December 2017: A do-over or a fresh start?”

  1. Not that great at pleasing people either less so since I have gotten older. I have adopted the philosophy Be and Let be, It is what it is – If it is not done through love then it is a call for help or healing, let it be. None of it as easy as it sounds but is a livable goal.

    It is a shame when appreciation, gratefulness are not given for good work, diligence and showing up even if things don’t work out quite the way expected. It happens a lot actually because that is life and expected is not always what is best for us or the way it should be.

    Sent you email reference the Spotlight.

    Best to you always, Juneta

    1. Thanks, Juneta. I’ll be sure to check my email.
      It’ll be hard to let it be, but that’s where I am now. I’ve always wanted to help those around me but not at the cost of my sanity.

  2. One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn is how to say no and not feel guilty about it. Even now, I still wrestle with this problem at times, especially when it is something that sparks my interest heavily. So, I can relate to how you feel about saying no. So what do I do, when I wrestle with saying No. I say No anyway and seek to find my inner peace with turning someone down. It’s hard but the peace I receive for not being stressed out and overbooked is priceless and worth fighting for.
    Wishing you all the best and a safe crossover into 2018.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

    1. Thank you Pat. I’m glad to know this isn’t an issue just for me. I sometimes worry that I’m making excuses for myself (I guess that’s the guilt), but you’re right. It’s okay to say no sometimes. I look forward to less stress in my life.

    1. Thank you Shannon. I’m glad to hear you recovered from this. It’ll be hard, but I know it’s the right thing to do. I hope you continue finding the right balance and doing what’s best for you.

  3. I know just what you mean. I stepped back from things this year for the same reasons.

    I am so glad that one of the things your thankful for this year is the IWSG Book Club. That made my day. 🙂

    1. I really enjoy the book club. It’s been the only book club I’ve been in years where real discussion takes place, plus it challenges me to read outside my preferred genres and actually learn something.

    1. I see your son’s point of view. I have to stopping wanting to help so much. I’ll work hard to find a balance that let’s me take care of myself and still help others without causing too much stress. For now, it’s time to focus on me. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  4. It’s such a shame when kindness is seen as weakness. It’s happened to me many times to the point I even started to believe it. We’re taught looking out for ourselves is selfish and selfish is a bad unattractive quality. Be the wonderful and caring human being you are and resist the urge to help those who would take liberties. There are plenty of decent people who will value you and your kindness because it is absolutely a strength.

    Have a happy time with good people this Christmas and be as ‘selfish’ as you like. XX

    Shah X

  5. I’m sorry some things didn’t work out for you. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I was actively promoting authors and hosting a FB writers group. I ended up feeling burnt out and feeling like everyone is just out there to help themselves. Now I’ve found a nice group of very supportive writers and, in limiting my promotional efforts, I have more time for myself. We all have to find a balance between helping others and taking care of ourselves. I hope you take care of you in the New Year so that all your dreams can come true!

    1. Thank you Tricia. Your words mean a lot. I hate that others have experienced the same thing I’m going through right now, but in some ways, it makes me feel like less of a sap. I wish and pray for a spirit of cooperation almost everyday, on multiple levels, and in the rare cases that I find it, I cherish it. I have to accept that that will not always be the case. Happy Holidays, Tricia, and Happy New Year.

  6. There are a lot of people who are willing to take and not give back, but there a lot who are more than generous in returning help when needed. Keep looking. It’s really important to have support while you’re writing.

What are your thoughts?